Taylorsville City updates its budget
The City of Taylorsville is now operating under an adjusted and updated budget to meet a $1,943,262 payment for the city’s Unified Fire Authority contract.
In the original budget set earlier this year, the UFA payment was covered by joining the Salt Lake Valley Fire District. As that decision has now been postponed, and the issue scheduled for the November 2013 ballot, the budget needed to be updated accordingly to fund the contract payment due in January.
“It wasn’t an easy process to go through to find a way to pay for the UFA contract. We were lucky that we have a fairly healthy fund balance that we could use, but that requires caution too because that’s our emergency fund. Should something happen, it comes from there. It’s a tightrope balancing act, just like a personal budget,” said city manager John Inch Morgan.
City administrators and city council members spent several weeks reviewing, revising and discussing solutions to balance the budget and cover the contract payment. On Dec. 5 at the city council meeting, city administrators presented a budget to the city council that adjusted several items. Three items in particular were used heavily to meet the payment, while others were adapted only slightly.
The fund balance Morgan spoke of is one of the three items that large amounts were drawn from to meet the required amount for the contract. State statute requires a city to carry a balance of no less than five percent of its projected revenue, but no more than 18 percent, in a fund balance. This is a safety net to cover emergencies that may arise. The city of Taylorsville held the maximum amount in the city budget and approximately five and a half percent, or around $1.3 million, was transferred to the UFA contract, so the city is still within the legal fund balance requirement.
Sales tax revenue was another area that was used heavily. Though the recent economic downturn hit Taylorsville, city administrators have seen an increase in sales tax and felt confident in allocating a considerable sum, approximately $300,000, toward the UFA payment.
“Over the past few months, sales tax revenue has increased by about eight percent, which gave us more to put toward the contract,” Morgan said.
The other big budget item that was used was a transfer from capital improvements. This included projects like bike trails, and the rerouting the road to go around Prairie View Elementary School, among others projects. In the original budget, these items were included because the city planned to join the fire district and could fund these projects. However, the money, roughly $299,000, has been transferred back to the UFA contract. The plans the city had hoped to fund have been postponed until next year as long as funds are available.
Once presented, the budget was unanimously approved by the city council.
The cemetery fund, the economic development fund and the storm drain fund were other items in the budget from where money was allocated.
More information and the actual budget can be found on the city’s website at www.taylorsvilleut.gov., hovering the cursor over the online city hall menu, and from there going to city documents. There then is a link that will go directly to city budget documents.